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Hardball Weekend

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

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Romney 8, America 6, Us 6, Washington 5, Obama 4, Marco Rubio 3, Rubio 3, Joe 3, Iraq 2, Daniel Johns 2, L.a. 2, Rudy Giuliani 2, John Kerry 2, John Mccain 2, Karl Rove 2, Donald Trump 2, Mitt Romney 2, Pat Buchanan 2, Al Gore 1, Barack Obama 1,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    News/Business. The best of  
   'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'  

    March 17, 2013
    4:00 - 4:30am PDT  

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>> uh-huh. >> freedom. >> i don't want to come back. but you know, how l.a. county is, you never know what might happen at any given moment. if you get caught up in any situation out here to cause you to actually do some more time in here, whether it's a traffic ticket, small misdemeanor or getting confused with someone else out here because sometimes people can walk like you and look like you from a distance and then you get caught up in that same situation. >> what's going on? >> it's midnight on the fourth of july, and former inmate daniel johns is hopeful about his future after spending 15 days of his life inside l.a. county jail.
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>> my property, man. it's wonderful, man. i've got a bunch of responsibilities to go take care of. i'm just never coming back to this place. you know? i'll do what i've got to do, get going, get my life -- back on my feet. take care of my responsibilities, don't break the law. >> with only the clothes on his back and a couple of bus tokens in his pocket, daniel johns walks out of jail once again a free man. in 2006, increased violence, much of it between black and hispanic inmates, resulted in injuries and even death in the los angeles county jail system. sheriff lee baca blames the violence on a lack of staff,
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saying that his decision to close some facilities in order to deal with a budget shortfall has forced far fewer deputies to watch over a growing inmate population. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seigenthaler. splitsville on the right. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. i watched the conservatives at their convention today and was impressed by the strong response to mitt romney. they seem stuck on him. as we used to say, stuck on mitty, they like him, still like him enough to give him a pretty good welcome today.
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this guy who lost an election he and many others thought they had made. so what this tells me is they really haven't adjusted to the verdict of the american people. they're still back there with santorum and trump and those others on the crazy wagon of right wing talk that basically turned off the country last year. i'm talking specifically about the horror show known as the republican primary season. it was a winter of discontent followed by a spring of crazy and a summer of -- is that all there is? here we have in march of 2013 and the talk of hillary on the democratic side and talk of no one really on the republican side. are they really ready to run rubio really? are they thinking about risking it all with jindal? do you think? can jeb run if he can't bring his own brother, and who on earth thinks he can, to the republican convention to nominate him? he can't show up with his brother. the problem explains the warm response to mitt romney today. having looked at and seen the alternatives, they may be thinking, whoa, that grass there don't look all that green, does it? i'm joined by david corn with
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"mother jones" and of course the "washington post's" great eugene robinson. i want to hear your reaction. you're a great washington observer. i'm looking at this today and expecting romney to get blah, blah, blah. first of all, nobody shows up for trump. nobody. the house is empty. it was so great. it was empty. empty chairs. he was tweeting -- we're going to get to that later -- tweeting how it's going to be a big crowd. brought him in for one reason, box office. >> yes, yes. >> okay. let's talk about mitt. mitt came out, his face kept showing, all right, i lost, all right, i lost, already, i lost. and it went on for about ten minutes. all right, i lost. but they liked him. >> they liked him. yeah. finally he's kind of grown on the party. they never liked him before. >> just my bill. >> they never liked him before, but, you know, he fought the good fight. they can say he fought the good fight. >> did he? >> did the best he could. >> did he? >> did the best he could do. >> he fought their fight. >> he did the best he could. he lost.
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give him a hand of applause. i don't think this means he's back as a major force in the party. >> in other words, he lost to the highest unemployment rate of anybody in presidential history. >> well, maybe he didn't do that -- >> what does it tell you when they're willing to quasi celebrate mitt romney and still not have bob mcdonnell or chris christie there? >> i know. let's take a look at the split. the sharp divisions in the republican party were easy to see today at cpac. senators rand paul and marco rubio mentioned as 2016 contenders put out different versions of visions for the gop's way forward. one say the party right now is a relic. the other says it has to stick to the basics. very different messages. let's watch them. >> the gop of old has grown stale and moss covered. i don't think we need to name any names. >> we don't need a new idea. there is an idea. the idea is called america. and it still works. >> what in the world does this
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first guy talk -- first, he's out there, rand paul, like he's elected for a couple months and comes out there and immediately slams, guess who? who's he trashing? >> take your pick, mitch mcconnell, mitt romney. >> john mccain. >> john mccain is who he's -- >> look at the division here. >> wait a minute. get to this point. let's let him have his point. here's the guy, new voice of the republican party, he and the guy from texas, ted cruz, trashing all the people that have been there before him. >> right. but he's out there saying, we need new ideas. what is the new idea? it's liberty. marco rubio says we have good ideas. what's the good idea? america. this is the big debate in the party. liberty versus america. >> don't the democrats have america, too? >> where are they going with this? >> they have liberty. >> is it liberty or is it america? i am so confused. >> there is a split. rand paul says we need more ideas and need to be more libertarian and less interventionist. okay, just his basic themes. marco rubio says we don't need to change anything except the candidates.
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we need to have candidates who better articulate what we've been saying all along. that's going to be the fight in the party. >> i've always asked this question. when you get your butt kicked in an election you really thought -- ann romney is probably an okay person. she thought she was going to win. they really thought, i didn't know who was going to win. i didn't know who was going to win. it was that close. the democrats had a better ground game, obviously. a better social network event. it was close enough to grab. like a football. the receiver is that close. it's in his hands or right there. he should have caught it. it's not the quarterback's fault if that case. here's the question. if they blew it, is their tendency to go hard right with this guy, rand paul, go to paleoconservatism, no more wars. >> that has never won. even when they've gone conservative, when they went to ronald reagan after ford lost, he was not a libertarian. he was sort of a movement, traditional movement conservative who had been less
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conservative as a governor no -- a governor in california. >> that's true. >> and had a lot of crossover appeal just in terms of his nature. so going to the straight tea party libertarian and risking this tremendous work, we haven't seen the neoconservative, the revenge of the neoconservative empire yet. >> i think they're going to come back and reclaim the party as the hawk party. let me ask you about this choice now. do they say more romney with a different face, rubio, or say, wait a minute, that me, too, thing isn't working? >> i'm a believer in inertia. i think they stick with the sta same basic ideas. >> pretending to be right wingers but not willing to believe it themselves. >> not willing to go all the way. >> let's talk about something you've written about, we had the great thing we taped last night about the iraq war and in your book, "hubris." look at this clip. show them how things have changed. look at this clip from the presidential debate back in 2008 where ron paul, that's the father, long a lone voice of opposing intervention in iraq,
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tangles with presidential candidate rudy giuliani and basically shouts him out of the room. let's watch how things have changed here. >> there's a strong tradition of being anti-war in the republican party. it is the constitutional position. it is the advice of the founders to follow a noninterventionist foreign policy. >> congressman, you don't think that changed with the 9/11 attacks, sir? >> what changed? >> the noninterventionist policies. >> no. nonintervention was a major contributing factor. have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? they attacked us because we've been over there. >> are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir? >> i'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it. they have already now since that time have killed 3,400 of our men. i don't think it was necessary. >> comment on that? >> that's really an extraordinary statement.
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that is an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of september 11th, that we invited the attack because we were attacking iraq. i don't think i've ever heard that before, and i've heard some pretty absurd explanations for september 11th. >> there's a lot of applause. shouldn't have cut that off. tremendous applause for rudy giuliani. he thumped them. we remember that. fast forward to 2013. contrast that to the response to his son, rand paul's, 13-hour filibuster that protests the u.s. drone program. rand paul got backup from gop rising stars like rubio and ted cruz and was hailed as a hero on the right. there's no sound. we're just watching. is the party now open? does it find acceptable isolationist? >> this is what's really fascinating. for decades there was a fight within the republican party between realists and neoconservatives. >> right p. the first group was brent scowcroft. are. >> jim baker. >> a modest intervention versus
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the messianic view of promoting democracy. neoconservatives triumphed. there always was a small, emphasize the word small, part of the party, paleoconservatives. traditional isolationists, like pat buchanan. >> pat buchanan. >> like pat buchanan. they never even were in the debate. they were so far out of the mainstream of their own party. now with rand paul, we see them kind of rising and the debates between them and the neocons -- >> what's changed in the atmosphere? >> the realists are gone. >> gene, what's changed in the atmosphere? >> a decade of war. a decade of war at enormous costs in blood and treasure. >> and barack obama, being in charge of the national security state now. that's another thing. >> that's another change. that gives them the political opening. i think that's an interesting fight within the party, because i think the balance has changed, has shifted on the question of intervention. >> you said in your notes -- >> not all the way. but it's shifted. >> not all the way. do you think they're going to return to being a hawkish party? i think if obama doesn't attack
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iran, for example, they'll go ferociously -- >> i think the gop conservative is still squarely in the neoconservative camp with maybe a toe in the realist camp. they'll find out a way to drown out rand paul at least in the conversation in washington in halls of power. >> thank you. have a nice weekend. coming up, mitt romney, slammed by jim demint and rick perry for not being conservative enough but the crowd actually cheered romney. what's the lesson? go hard right or stick to romneyism? vague conservatismed. and used to support the defense of marriage act and used to support gay marriage until his son told him he was gay. this is fascinating. until a family issue, he didn't have that same position. now, a change of heart. two thing, one, all politics is local, of course, and two, as
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more people come out in terms of their orientation, more americans will be accepting of same-sex marriage. plus, we know the gop wants president obama to fail, will do anything to be sure he fails that, and no new taxes, all they really can agree on. on screwing obama, but why hasn't president obama offered republicans a deal from his point of view? his idea of a grand bargain? forcing republicans to say no and walk away from the table. he wasn't done that yet. by the way, donald trump tweeted yesterday, really big crowd expected tomorrow at cpac for his speech. here's the really big crowd that showed up to see trumpy. an overflow audience. filled with empty chairs. anyway, hats "hardball," and we're playering it. this is the place for. we'll be right back. think again. introducing olay professional even skin tone. developed by experts in skin genomics to target 5 major causes of uneven skin tone and help restore even color. olay professional even skin tone.
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you. of course, i left the race
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disappointed that i didn't win, but -- but i also left honored, and humbled to have represented the values we believe in, and to speak for so many good and decent people. we've lost races before in the past, but those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. it's up to us to make sure that we learn from our mistakes and my mistakes and that we take advantage of that learning to make sure that we take back the nation, take back the white house, get the senate and put in place conservative principles. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was, of course, mitt romney, this afternoon addressing the crowd at cpac. i believe he received a warm response, watching on tv, from the conservative activists out there. was it a last good-bye from a party that has moved on already? in his remarks romney offered little of new advice, beyond a general warning not to be pessimistic about conservatism. he's still optimistic about america. good to know, mr. romney.
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does anyone care anymore that romney has to say, what he has to say? joe conason of the "national memo." the editor. let me start with you, joe. in this sense of, is it an old jimmy durante good-bye in the old days, was this a good-bye, or was this is you're still with us, buddy, we like you, you lost a close one, we might look at you again some day? what was it? >> i think it was good-bye, chris. i don't think they want him back. he doesn't really fit well with any of the clashing wings of the party and he lost rather badly. i think he proved he was an incompetent candidate, ultimately. i'm not sure they want him back. i think they like his money. i think they -- and i think there is probably some affection for him just as there was for losers like john kerry and al gore after they lost elections. you know, john kerry would get
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cheered lustily when he would show up among democrats after losing in 2004. more so than before. same thing with al gore. so i think it's that kind of thing. >> where are the cheers for al gore, by the way? i missed that scene. he disappeared. >> when he finally showed up to come out against the iraq war, he was very much cheered. >> i think it was the message. anyway, what do you think, lauren? you were out there today? >> i was in the room. >> what do you think? >> it was his swan song. there's no question about that. he did do very interesting things. he alluded to dads who don't know what weekends are and single moms who work two jobs. these are the people that he basically ignored during the presidential run-up, and maybe, maybe he is moving more moderate. could that be a signal that the republican party will go that way? >> he also talked about the guy
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that discovered oil in north dakota. not something most people can identify with. >> right, but he -- so did donald trump earlier. >> trump was absurd. trump comes in there, nobody's there in the morning, of course, to see him. a problem in both problems if you have it, authenticity. i think rom sney is a business guy, teaching others how to do it. a philosophy based on his own practice of making money and wants to keep the american system very much like it was when they made all this money. pretty simple. when he talks philosophical beliefs, this stuff, come on. we don't believe it. i want to give you something from the last romney appearance. here's romney's previous appearances at cpac, showcased awkward moments. his problem with the conservative base last year was on full display last year when this ad-lib comment came out of his mouth. let's watch. >> i fought against odds in
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a deep blue state, but i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> those words do not strike me as authentic. >> wait a minute. >> severely conservative? what is that? painfully? >> what does that mean? >> disgustingly? what does it mean? >> these guys -- >> is he authentic? >> he does what he has to do to win. >> yes. >> so do other people. sow does barack obama. >> you don't think obama's authentic? >> i think -- >> i think obama wins with what he is. your thoughts, joe. i think it's authenticity. not an ideology assessment. i think romney up there, you put him on a sodium pedestal and say, i like being rich, like the family i'm in, i like being a mormon. i don't like talking about all this stuffs. it's boring to me. >> the best moment romney when whatever was authentic about him did come out. his love of his family. his faith. you know. his reverence for his dad, whose
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every precept he disobeyed, but nevertheless, he clearly loved his father. those things made him seem authentic. you're right, when he talked about ideology, his issue, concerns, that all came up as a bit phony because he flip-flopped so many times on so many issues. the conservatives weren't buying it, either. >> joe, it was too little, too late when he finally did come out and talk about his family. >> so you agree with that. >> it was -- i do agree with you there. but it was completely too late. if we had seen that personal side of him a lot earlier, we'd be talking to president romney. >> people running if office represent them who don't believe what they're saying. that's a big problem. you have to have an authentic person out there of the party position who comes from the philosophical base or it's never going to work. the american people get a lot of exposure to the candidates. they watch them week after week after week. after a while you can figure who's acting and who isn't. >> they didn't want him in their living room. >> obama may not be the greatest president in history. going to see. yet to prove his second term
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yet. by the way, i'm not completely convinced we're going in the right direction right now. i'm waiting for obama to come in with the long ball. thank you, laura ashburn and joe. we don't have you on enough. >> well, i'm here. >> well said. lauren, you're always great. up next, this year's must-have souvenirs for the right-winger in your family. this is "hardball." the place for politics. hey, it's me, progressive insurance. you know, from our 4,000 television commercials. yep, there i am with flo. hoo-hoo! watch it! [chuckles] anyhoo, 3 million people switched to me last year, saving an average of $475. [sigh] it feels good to help people save... with great discounts like safe driver, multicar, and multipolicy. so call me today. you'll be glad you did. cannonbox! [splash!] with command strips from 3m. designed to stick and eliminate odors anywhere. like this overflowing trashcan.
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ha! back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." it's not often you can see the week in late night comedy was dominated by pope jokes. election of pope francis i inspired david letterman's lineup of biblical tv shows. >> number ten, "leviticus and shirley." number two, the big bang theory
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is a life, and number one, bleep, my god says -- >> wow. i like "the big bang theory is a lie." no doubt thanks to georgia congressman brown who said evolution and the big bang theory are lies from the pit of hell. that's what he said. now to the sights of cpac. as we've been discussing, there are many fashions of the republican party on the scene of cpac and some of the kiosks in the hallway tell the tale. catch these. a poster for the obama awareness campaign exposes radical agenda on your campus. a spread of pro-gun memorabilia. if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. this bizarre, i plead the second. well. then this non-homage to karl rove. how karl rove and the establishment lost again. and the scene from donald trump's speech this morning. let's just say, it wasn't standing room only. how about seating room plenty? here's a question. if it's a bad sign if you spend your cpac speech, is it, trying
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to point out what's craziest? enter wayne lapierre, ceo of the nra. >> if you aren't free to protect yourself when government puts its thumb on the freedom. then you aren't free at all. they call us crazy for holding fast to that belief. they can call me crazy or anything else they want. and they say we're crazy? that's crazy. crazy. crazy. it's as if sanity, itself, has been sequestered in washington. >> crazy. that's the word he likes. that's what we're hearing. see what i mean? finally this week in conspiracy theories, is ben affleck a secret undercover government operative as in the present day version of character he played in movie "argo" that came out this year? the iranian government is not pleased with affleck's oscar winning movie which tells of the escape of six americans during the iranian hostage crisis. this week an iranian news agency gave an american conspiracy theorist a chance to discredit the movie.
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quote, if the makers of "argo" are deposed under oath, they may be forced to reveal their film like the fictitious film within the film is a covert operation disguised as a movie. i have a theory, too. for those characters over in tehran. "argo" was a successful effort to make a popular movie. and that's reality. coming up, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor. we discussed all the symptoms... then he gave me some blood tests. showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number -- not just me. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% (testosterone gel). the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy, increases testosterone when used daily. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child,